Sindh: Wheat worth Rs5.35 billion missing from govt warehouses
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has revealed that 164,797 metric tonnes of wheat worth Rs5.35 billion were missing from government warehouses in Sindh.
According to the report issued by NAB, NAB Sukkur has launched 9 different inquiries in 9 districts of Larkana, Benazirabad (Nawabshah) and Sukkur division to nab the embezzlement and theft wheat worth Rs 15.85 billion in government warehouses.
Separate investigation teams raided government warehouses in the nine districts under the supervision of a judicial magistrate.
According to the NAB, during the raids, it was revealed that 1,64,797 metric tonnes of wheat worth Rs5.35 billion was missing.
The report said that, other accused including food department officials confessed to the crime of wheat theft and returned Rs2.112 billion through plea-bargain.
The NAB said that an inquiry was commenced against the food department officials of Sukkur and Khairpur and the owners of 4 flour mills for non-repayment of government wheat loan in six months. The owners of 4 flour mills paid Rs 8.126 billion.
According to NAB, during various inquiries, it was also revealed that 22,000 metric tonnes of government wheat worth Rs. 745.68 million sent from 9 districts of Sukkur, Larkana and Benazirabad division to Karachi did not reach there.
The Anti-Corruption watchdog said food department officials and others were involved in the embezzlement.
In addition, 4 references have been filed by NAB in the Accountability Court Sukkur against large scale embezzlement and theft in the Food Department while more references will also be registered.
It may be recalled that a few months ago, there was a crisis in flour and wheat in the country and as a result, prices had gone up, the inquiry committee blamed that the poor procurement situation is the reason of wheat crisis in Sindh.
The committee said it saw a 35 per cent (2.5 million tonnes) shortfall against the government procurement target.
The report said that the procurement of wheat in Sindh was zero while its target was 1 million tonnes. Similarly, Punjab procured 3.315 million tonnes of wheat while its requirement and target was 4 million tonnes.
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